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The Best Movie Posters of 2008

The Dark Knight

What a year it’s been at the box office. Though there have been a lot of “fun” movies released in 2008, I’d count exactly two movies I saw as being very good and wouldn’t say I’ve seen any great ones. Which is the exact opposite of last year where there were a plethora of great films released during the later part of the year.  

Still, even though the films of 2008 might not have been all that memorable, there were some great posters released to promote the films this year.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
12/20/2008


My Favorite Non-Christmas Christmas Movies

My Favorite Non-Christmas Christmas Movies

This time of year it seems as if there’s never a shortage of Christmas themed movies on television. Be it a classic like A Christmas Story (1983) or a more recent comedy like Elf (2003), from the beginning of December to the end it’s like the viewing public is presented with a glut of Christmas TV.

But that got me thinking; though there are literally hundreds of Christmas themed movies, what about the movies that take place at Christmas time but aren’t necessarily about Christmas?  

Continue reading this column on my favorite non-Christmas Christmas movies.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
12/6/2008


MST3K Turns Twenty and I Feel OLD!

MST3K

I can’t quite believe it myself – but Joel, the bots, the “Satellite of Love” and the whole TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) turns 20 this Thanksgiving. That means when I first started watching (and falling in love with) MST3K, I was a punk high school kid not yet old enough to have a driver’s license. Does time fly!

Continue reading this column on one of the best TV series of all time – MST3K.

 

 

By Bert Ehrmann
11/29/2008


What’s Worth Watching?

Chuck

Though the 2008-’09 television season is already a few months old, I can’t say that I’m all too enamored with many of the new series that have debuted so far on network TV. In some seasons past, I’d find myself watching hours of new comedies and dramas nightly. But this year not so much.

Here’s a quick rundown on what I’ve been watching this fall.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
11/29/2008


A Halloween Double Feature! Zombies, Zombies, Zombies!

Zombies

Over the last several Halloweens I’ve profiled some of my favorite horror movies. This year I’ve decided to profile two of my favorite, and quite different, zombie movies. The first of our double feature is the film Night of the Comet (1984).

Continue reading this column on the movies Night of the Comet and 28 Days Later.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
10/18/2008


Iron Man, Sports Night and Indiana Jones, an Unlikely Combination

Indiana Jones 4

A lot of people really were critical of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Indy 4) when it was released in theaters last May, not liking its sci fi elements or the addition of Shia LaBeouf as Indy side kick “Mutt” Williams. But, to be honest, I actually kind’a dug Indy 4

Let’s put it this way, if you can accept in Raiders of the Lost Ark that Indy can hold onto a German sub as it sails hundreds of miles in the open sea from Africa to some Nazi stronghold island or in Temple of Doom that he, Short Round and Willie can jump out of a crashing airplane with only an inflatable raft between them and the ground – and can somehow survive the fall – then you’ll probably also be able to accept the events of Indy 4 as well.

Continue reading this column on upcoming DVD releases.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
10/3/2008


Coming Soon to consoles & PC's everywhere!

Dead Space
Out October 14th. Another Space Action Horror Game, pretty much a cross between "Alien", "Event Horizon", and "The Thing". Throw in a little "uh oh, we don't have Gravity on this ship.." and you got yourself a challenging game. Looks to be one of the better "hits" from EA.


Fallout 3
Fallout 3 is an action role-playing game currently under development by Bethesda Game Studios. It will be the third major game in the Fallout series, which has also spawned the spin-offs Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. The setting of Fallout 3 will take place in the year 2277, 36 years after the setting of Fallout 2 and 200 years after the nuclear war that devastated the game's world. The game will be released in North America on October 28, 2008.


And of course, last but not least:
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3
EA is once again opening up the RTS genre and bringing out a star studded cast for its latest addition to the Command and Conquer series. This time, the Soviet Union is on the brink of disaster, and must attempt to stop the Allies from succeeding in their plans by travelling back in time . As a result, However, the Soviets unknowingly cause a new advesary to rise to power: The Empire of the Rising Sun!

By Mo Alexander
10/3/2008


Addicted to Xbox anyone?

Yup. So I finally broke down and got an Xbox. Actually my wife bought it for me as an early christmas gift.

As much as I was a X box 360 "hater", (and love my Playstation 3), for some damned reason Halo 3 kept calling my name. So I submitted to the whim, got the 20 GB model, and picked up the Halo 3 Legendary Pack. (I am still trying to fit the helmet on one of my cats..)

After firing it up for the first time, and it locking up on one of the "accessory videos" that was installed on the hard drive (I seriously would have laughed had I gotten a Blue Screen of Death), I rebooted and fired up the game.

Bungie did a great job with this game, with HD visuals, digital sound, and a great soundtrack to boot. Although some of the gameplay seems a little repetitious at times. Run here, do this, blow up the enemy, run back to the start, blow up more of the enemy, then run back to the end again. Whew!

Although I haven't sampled the Multiplayer option with Halo3 yet, I hear it is all the rage. As a matter of fact, it seems everyone speaks volumes about the Multiplayer aspect, and very little about the Solo campaign. I guess sometime I will give it a whirl, but I am too wrapped up playing Burnout Paradise and GTA 4!!

At any rate, Microsoft did a little bit better on this console versus its predecesor. The Xbox arcade offers a variety of games that you can purchase (or even demo) ranging from "Everyone" rated games, up to "Mature".

This is where the real fun came in. We finally that all the family can play, and even play at the same time. (No, I am not talking about UNO!). I am talking about CASTLE CRASHERS!!! Not since the days of playing "Golden Axe" in my youth have I found a hack-n-slash game worthy of its mantle. This game has it all. A little gore, a lot of button mashing, and some great comedic character development. Trying this game out for free will probably cost you a few hours of your life. Buying it will make it even more enjoyable.

All in all, I gotta admit that the Xbox is a good gaming system. My only fear now is when the Red Rings of Death will come to visit my machine.. (THEY BETTER NOT!!)

Micro$oft X box

By Mo Alexander
10/3/2008


Wow has it been a while..

Since April to be exact. Guess I have some catching up to do.

The new Iron Man Blu Ray Disc shall be mine this weekend. I am looking forward to checking it out in all its HD Glory.
Bert got it right when he said this was one of the better movies of 2008. I certainly enjoyed it. Iron Man

By Mo Alexander
10/3/2008


The Stand

The second issue of the comic book adaptation of The Stand is due out next Wednesday. From Marvel:

Stephen King's horror epic continues in this issue as the unseen killer, the super-flu Captain Trips, spreads across the entire country, a tide of disease and death. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, in the Center for Disease Control, the US government has taken a keen interest in Stuart Redman, who seems to be the only person immune to the Captain Trips infection. They are determined to find out why--with or without Stu's cooperation. And what do the recurring nightmares Stu's been having--about a dark man with red eyes standing in a cornfield--mean? Plus: Frannie Goldsmith and her father! Larry Underwood in New York! And Nick Andros takes a wrong turn in Shoyo, Arkansas!

The Stand

By Bert Ehrmann
10/1/2008


What Ever Happened To? : The Horror Movie



For quiet a time right now Horror movies have taken a sort of turn for the worse. Wether it be a high budget film that simply tanks due to horrible acting and a lame script or the fact that everyone seems to want to restart a franchise that should not be restarted. There is also the good foreign horror films being "Americanized" but I'm not even going to go there. What ever happened to the Classic Horror Movie? By that I mean a blood splattering, bone breaking, mutant breeding, dysfunctional family, scantily clothed women, vomit spewing, serial killing, more blood splattering,zombie brain eating, monster slashing, b-acting movie.



My main concern is the "Friday the 13th" remake that is scheduled to be released next year. Sure I love Jason to death and he is probably one of the most iconic killers in the genre but I gave up on that franchise when they released Jason-X. (Its a great film to watch at 3:00 am but thats about it) Then I also find out not only are they restarting this series but also are in the works for a new "Nightmare on Elmstreet" movie...... without Robert Englund! I agree that the newer versions of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and Rob Zombie's rendition of "Halloween" were pretty well done but they do not hold a candle to the originals. Next thing you'll know they will be cranking out new Puppermaster movies or something like that. (In my eyes that would be awesome with CG as good as it is now.)


My next issue is all of the crap that Hollywood releases as being a horror movie. I watched "Prom Night" against my will the other day and I must say that this had to be one of the worse movies I have ever watched. Three minutes in you knew who the killer was and I thought to myself " You have got to be kidding me right? Isn't that the guy from That Thing You Do ?" What a waste of time that was. The same thing happened when I watched the ruins the other night. I was expecting some crazy alien popping out and killing everyone but no we all get killed by plants. Yes, I said plants.

Now don't get me wrong there have been a few films these last few years that have impressed me (High Tension, The Descent, House of 1000 Corpses/Devil's Rejects) but seriously I believe the genre is on the decline. So knock it off Hollywood ! Come up with something original and leave things as they should.

By Matt Alexander
9/27/2008


Iron Man DVD

Iron Man is due out on DVD, Blue-ray and digital download next Tuesday (9/30). The two-disc special edition DVD retails for $30.

Iron Man DVD

By Bert Ehrmann
9/26/2008


Valkyrie

I'm not sure what to think about the upcoming Valkyrie movie. The concept is interesting, a plot to assassinate Hitler and end WWII a year early, and the last time the writer and director of Valkyrie got together they came up with a little film called The Usual Suspects.

But the release date for Valkyrie has changed at least three times (which is never a good sign) and there hasn't been much publicity (so far) for a movie due out in just a few months.

Still, I can't remember the last time a non-German WWII movie focused on the Germans.

Valkyrie

By Bert Ehrmann
9/25/2008


Ronin

A new edition of the classic comic mini-series Ronin is due out tomorrow (9/24). From DC Comics:

RONIN, the acclaimed epic by Frank Miller, visionary writer/artist of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, 300 and Sin City and director of the upcoming movie adaptation of The Spirit, is collected for the first time in hardcover in DC's oversized, slipcased Absolute format! In this tale, the legendary warrior known only as the Ronin — a disgraced 13th century samurai, is given a second chance to avenge his master's death and regain his honor. Reborn in a futuristic and corrupt 21st century New York City, the Ronin must defeat the reincarnation of his master's killer, the ancient demon Agat.

This breathtaking Absolute Edition includes rarely seen promotional art, fold-out pages and more special features.

Unfortunately, this edition costs a whopping $100! (Then again, it's probably worth it!)

Ronin

By Bert Ehrmann
9/23/2008


Alex Toth

Collecting Fool has posted a TON of drawings and designs from designer/comic artist Alex Toth. Alex has been gone for a few years now and is still sorely missed.

Alex Toth

By Bert Ehrmann
9/21/2008


Detoxing Determined Demented Dexter

Dexter

I’m not sure what’s up with HBO, the channel that once proclaimed of itself, “It’s not TV, it’s HBO.” Other than the mini-series Generation Kill that ended a few weeks back, there hasn’t been any drama series of note on that channel since the end of The Sopranos more than a year ago.

The same doesn’t hold true for Showtime, which has been out “HBO-ing” HBO in the drama department for some time now, especially with their series Dexter.

Continue reading this article on the TV series Dexter.


By Bert Ehrmann
9/19/2008


L.A. Confidential

A two-disc special edition DVD of the movie L.A. Confidential is due out next Tuesday. It looks like the extras on the DVD are essentially a few documentaries along with director commentary.

L.A. Confidential

By Bert Ehrmann
9/17/2008


Planetary Fringe

I realize that the Fox series Fringe is a modern day version of The X-Files, but to me it seems more akin to the comic book series Planetary (minus the super-powers) than the later.

One major difference between Fringe and Planetary, though, is that whereas Planetary was actually good, Fringe, so far at least, isn't.

Planetary

By Bert Ehrmann
9/16/2008


Bruce Campbell

The New York Times has published a piece on ultimate cool guy Bruce Campbell. From the interview:

A lot of the people who follow what I do only want to see me do certain things,” he said, not complaining. Some of his fans, he said, want to know why his “Burn Notice” character, a low-key former F.B.I. operative, doesn’t have more fight scenes. “I’ve been trying,” he said, “but three or four weeks ago I was trying to kick a stuntman in the face and blew my hamstring. It was two days after I turned 50. I must have reached my expiration date.”
Bruce Campbell

By Bert Ehrmann
9/15/2008


Favorite Posters

Stand by Me

By Bert Ehrmann
9/13/2008


Batman: Gotham Knight

I didn't really care for the direct to DVD Batman: Gotham Knight from a few months back, but I think this statue based on one of the segments in the film is pretty nice! It will retail for around $75 and will be available next spring.

The Stand

By Bert Ehrmann
9/11/2008


The Stand

Marvel.com has an interview with The Stand artist Mike Perkins. From the interview:

Mike Perkins: I think the first shot we get of the effects of Captain Trips—the super flu virus—is pretty disturbing. It's horrific enough in the books and it's been a challenge to illustrate something that millions of people have visualized in there own minds and still give it a shock value—I've accomplished that to some degree. I must have, as it did, indeed, creep me out.
The Stand

By Bert Ehrmann
9/10/2008


Drew Struzan

It's been reported that illustrator Drew Struzan, the Norman Rockwell of movie poster art, has retired. Drew's done ton of great artwork for movie posters, everything from Goonies to Back to the Future to Indiana Jones to Harry Potter to Star Wars all emerged from Drew's paintbrush.

Drew will be missed, but the real question is if there's anyone out there that can truly replace his art, or are we doomed to a future of Photoshop posters?

Goonies

By Bert Ehrmann
9/7/2008


The Best of Summer '08

The Best of Summer '08

As the summer slowly draws to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to look back at some of the things I liked best about the summer of ’08. I know many think The Dark Knight was the best movie of the summer, but MY vote for the best film would go to Iron Man.

Continue reading this article on the best of summer '08.

By Bert Ehrmann
9/5/2008


Deadwood

TVShowsOnDVD.com is reporting the DVD set Deadwood: The Complete Series is set to be released this December and will retail for around $180. The DVD set is very cool, but I'd rather have just one more season of Deadwood to wrap things up rather than yet another DVD set.

Deadwood

By Bert Ehrmann
9/4/2008


The Stand

The first issue of the comic book adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Stand is due out next Wednesday (9/10). From Marvel:

Something that will send Charlie Campion and his wife and daughter fleeing in the middle of the night. Unfortunately for the Campion family--and the rest of America--they are unaware that all three of them are carrying a deadly cargo: A virus that will spread from person to person like wildfire, triggering a massive wave of disease and death, prefacing humanity's last stand! Be there as writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four) teams with artist Mike Perkins (Captain America) for the first arc in the next great Stephen King event!

The Stand

By Bert Ehrmann
9/3/2008


Deathlock

I'm really digging the Deathlock statue available via Sideshow Collectibles. The statue is due out early next year and retails for around $175.

Deathlock

By Bert Ehrmann
9/2/2008


Fall 2008-09 TV Premiere Dates

What to watch this month.

Sunday
(8/30)
Monday
(9/1)
Tuesday
(9/2)
Wednesday
(9/3)
Thursday
(9/4)



FX
The Shield
10 P.M.
FX
Sons of Anarchy
10 P.M.
 
Sunday
(9/7)
Monday
(9/8)
Tuesday
(9/9)
Wednesday
(9/10)
Thursday
(9/11)
HBO
True Blood
9 P.M.
  Fox
Fringe
9 P.M.
   
Sunday
(9/14)
Monday
(9/15)
Tuesday
(9/16)
Wednesday
(9/17)
Thursday
(9/18)
        FX
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
10 P.M.
Sunday
(9/21)
Monday
(9/22)
Tuesday
(9/23)
Wednesday
(9/24)
Thursday
(9/25)
      NBC
Knight Rider
8 P.M.
NBC
My Name is Earl 8 P.M.

NBC

The Office
9 P.M.
Sunday
(9/28)
Monday
(9/29)
Tuesday
(9/30)
Wednesday
(10/1)
Thursday
(10/2)
Showtime
Dexter
9 P.M.
    ABC
Pushing Dasies
8 P.M.
 

By Bert Ehrmann
9/1/2008


What ever Happened To? : The Dark Knight



Of course like most Americans I enjoyed the Dark Knight. The portrayal of the Joker by the late Heath Ledger was unforgettable, Christian "Ill save your Franchise" Bale added to his reputation as the masked crusader, and good old Gary "Why haven't I gotten an Oscar yet?" Oldman completed a tremendous cast. The script was written well and the action sequences were amazing. But as I got home I felt empty inside.

You see throughout the summer this was the movie I wanted to see. I checked daily, like most fanboys, on the recent gossip and or newly released pictures. I loved the marketing scheme for the Joker giving him his own website and his own propaganda. I was grief stricken when I heard the news of Heath's death and was distraught about the rumors that they were going to change the movie due to his accidental overdose. When Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale both came out and said that the picture would be how it was intended in Heath's honor I was also surprised. (Usually the movie companies decide this.)


Now that I have finally seen the film after weeks of anticipation I have only one problem. Of course sorry for any spoilers and such but I am pretty sure I was the last person in the world to see this movie. What ever happened to a film having just one villain? I understand that movies these days are trying to cram as much story in as possible but honestly it doesn't work. I also had the same problem when Spiderman 3 came out and they had a total of 3 villains. The big hype about this movie was Batman Vs. The Joker. The ultimate battle. Which of course happened ..... sort of. Sure The Joker played mind games the whole movie but I really didn't need the whole Harvey Dent/Two Face saga as well. I wanted what I expected but what I got was what Hollywood wants. There is a reason why Tim Burton's Batman will probably be the best for a long time. One hero, one villain. (And a whole lot of Prince)
This was the movie of the summer hands down but a guy named Ironman sure was a close second.

By Matt Alexander
8/16/2008


On Sci Fi and Loneliness

On Sci Fi and Room Temperature

There’s a sub-genera of science fiction that’s been around for the longest time – the “last man” on the Earth story. These stories, almost always involving some sort of worldwide catastrophe to remove the rest of the population, are a good way for storytellers to examine a character’s true nature. If the easiest way to find out what someone’s like is to watch their actions when they think no one is watching, then the best way to find out what someone’s really like is to watch their actions when they’re completely and utterly isolated from all human contact.

Continue reading this column on science fiction and loneliness.

By Bert Ehrmann
8/15/2008


Spaced: A cultural touchstone you might have missed

Spaced

I had heard of the UK TV series Spaced years before I ever saw an episode. It was a series so popular with those who had already seen it that they used it as a reference point for critiquing other shows. Before I saw Spaced, I figured the series was a sci fi drama based on the title alone, but in reality Spaced is a modern day comedy that deals with a group of twenty-somethings living and (sometimes) working in London.

Continue reading this column on the TV series Spaced.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
8/1/2008


Mad Men, The Best Series on TV?

Mad Men

I have to admit that when I first heard about the AMC TV series Mad Men last year I was a bit skeptical. How exactly could a show on AMC, which up until that point had been known as a cheep knock-off to TMC, turn out ANYTHING of quality? Surly if a show like Mad Men were any good, it would have premiered on a “real” network like HBO or FX. Right? WRONG! AMC did the impossible last season in producing the best series of the year on a channel other than HBO.

Continue reading this column on the TV series Mad Men.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
7/18/2008


Who Watches the Watchmen



HOLY CRAP! Its finally here and I didn't even get to go see Batman yet but this trailer is blowing up the web so much that Apple got smart and put it on their trailer page. So now that it is out its time for the fun to begin and the speculation to start. I wonder how many people actually read the graphic novel or will before the film comes out.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/watchmen/
Here it is in all its Glory

By Matt Alexander
7/18/2008


The X-Files

The X-Files

It makes me feel old to think that the first episode of the TV series The X-Files aired almost 15 years ago. Before The X-Files exploded into one of the biggest hits on television, becoming a bonafide pop culture phenomena spawning a series of fan conventions, comic books, magazines, toys, a feature film, etc., etc., etc. it was an unknown show premiering one Friday night on FOX I was excited about that I figured no one else would watch. 

Continue reading this column on the upcoming The X-Files movie The X-Files: I Want to Believe.

By Bert Ehrmann
7/4/2008


The Stand

Later this summer, Marvel will be releasing a new series based on the Steven King book The Stand. From Marvel:

On a secret army base in the Californian desert, something has gone horribly, terribly wrong. Something that will send Charlie Campion and his wife and daughter fleeing in the middle of the night. Unfortunately for the Campion family--and the rest of America--they are unaware that all three of them are carrying a deadly cargo: A virus that will spread from person to person like wildfire, triggering a massive wave of disease and death, prefacing humanity's last stand!

The Stand

By Bert Ehrmann
6/29/2008


Mad Men

The first season of the best TV series of 2007 Mad Men is set to be released on DVD this Tuesday (7/1). The set retails for $50 with extras that include audio commentaries on all 13 episodes, several featurettes and a Mad Men music sampler.

Mad Men

By Bert Ehrmann
6/24/2008


Snake-Eyes

Sideshow Toys will be releasing a 12 inch figure based on (dare I say?) the most popular of all the G.I. Joe characters Snake-Eyes later this year. The figure will retail for (gasp!) $120.

Snake Eyes

By Bert Ehrmann
6/22/2008


Before Marvel Comics Movies Were Cool

Marvel Comics Movies

Movies based on Marvel Comics characters/titles seem to be dominating the box office the last few years. Be it the Spider-Man and X-Men franchises that have earned more than $1.7 billion dollars combined worldwide, or the release of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk this summer that is sure to take that number well north of $2 billion by years end, things couldn’t be better for Marvel.

But things weren’t always that great for Marvel characters.

Continue reading this column on movies based on Marvel Comics.

By Bert Ehrmann
6/20/2008


The Incredible Hulk

When Hulk appeared on cinema screens July 2003 it was a movie that didn’t quite live up to the hype. Be it a story that focused more on the inner angst of Bruce Banner or an odd ending with Banner’s father, played by Nick Nolte, turning into a giant jellyfish-like creature that tries to kill his/it’s son, Hulk never coalesced into a true summer hit. In fact, though Hulk did earn over $130 million at the box office it wasn’t able to earn back enough to cover the films budget.

The Incredible Hulk

After the disappointing results of Hulk, many people (me included) wrote off any chance that the character of The Incredible Hulk would be the star of a movie franchise. In fact, it was only when star Ed Norton signed on to play the title role that the sequel to Hulk titled The Incredible Hulk went from being a cheepy direct-to-DVD movie to a theatrical one. 

More of a relaunch than a true sequel, The Incredible Hulk focuses on Bruce Banner (Norton) on the run from General Ross (William Hurt) who wants to turn the creature lurking inside Banner into an Army weapon. Soldier Blonsky (Tim Roth) heads up the chase for Banner but gets a little too involved when he agrees to become a test subject for one of Ross’ experiments in capturing the Hulk.

The highest compliment I can pay to The Incredible Hulk is to say that it is a MUCH better movie that Hulk. Whereas Hulk got a lot wrong, The Incredible Hulk gets many more things right. Be it the many homage’s to the TV series to including the character of the Hulk more than the first film, The Incredible Hulk is a fun movie both the fans of the character as well as the general movie going public alike.

That being said, The Incredible Hulk does suffer from (at times) a weak script and numerous plot holes throughout. I kept getting the feeling while watching The Incredible Hulk that somewhere there’s a much longer movie that explains all the holes throughout the story of the movie. 

2.5 Out of 4

By Bert Ehrmann
6/15/2008


Fear Itself

The first episode of the NBC series Fear Itself entitled "The Sacrifice" aired last Thursday. I was really surprised that the episode was so good. The story had me guessing the entire way and certain images within the episode were so disturbing that I fear that they've been permanently scarred onto my retinas. :-)

By Bert Ehrmann
6/8/2008


What do the British, psychics and The X-Files have in common?

What do the British, psychics and The X-Files have in common?

You may not know this, but mid-May is the time of year that the TV networks decide on their upcoming fall/winter TV schedules. It’s also the time of year that new series commissioned by the networks are either picked up and added to this new schedule or discarded altogether. But this May is different than Mays of past. Overall network TV viewership is on the decline and the writer’s strike didn’t help matters by destroying the ‘07/’08 TV season. So, to say that the networks are desperate to get things right next season and retain what viewers they still have might be an understatement.

Continue reading this column on the upcoming fall TV schedule.

By Bert Ehrmann
6/5/2008


Mad Men

AMC is reporting that the second season of their award winning series Mad Men is set to begin Sunday 27 at 10 p.m. A DVD of the first season is due out on July 1 with a CD collection of songs from the show out June 24.

Mad Men

By Bert Ehrmann
5/29/2008


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The covers to the comic book adaptations to the new Indiana Jones movie are very nice and are painted by fan favorite artist Hugh Fleming. I remember seeing a lot of Fleming's work on Star Wars and other Indiana Jones comics in the late 1990s but haven't seen anything new from him in the last few years.

Here's hoping we only see more from Fleming in the future!

Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones

By Bert Ehrmann
5/25/2008


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

It's been nearly 20 years since the last "episode," but this spring Indiana Jones rode back into theaters looking for adventure in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Indiana Jones IV). I've been a doubter of this fourth film for some time now, but I'm happy to report that although flawed, this fourth installment of the franchise is a fun ride.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

This time, Jones (Harrison Ford) and sidekick "Mutt" (Shia LaBeouf) race the Russians from the U.S. to Central America in order to find Professor Oxley (John Hurt) who may have made an incredible discovery in the field of archeology involving a mystical and almost magical crystal skull. Jones and Mutt want to rescue Oxley and find out the true nature of the skull while the Russians, lead by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), believe the skull can be used as a weapon against the U.S. in the Cold War.

I liked how the story of Indiana Jones IV was able to tie the previous three movies together, tie the 1990s Indiana Jones TV series into the movie franchise as well as explain to the audience exactly what Jones has been up to the last 20 years – he wasn't sitting on his butt during WWII. The character of Jones has also matured since his last movie outing, this time playing the level headed mentor to hotheaded Mutt.

Still, the story of Indiana Jones IV is underdeveloped and there are plot holes galore. Plus, with the magic of digital special effects, Jones can take hits and punches that would have killed him in any of the previous film or TV outings.

Then again, I'm not sure this movie was meant to be anything other than summer fun. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull isn't going to win any awards come next Oscar season, but that always isn't a bad thing.

2 and a half stars

By Bert Ehrmann
5/24/2008


Andromeda, Trixie, Captain Tripps, Motaba, KV and Rage (Oh, my)

Andromeda, Trixie, Captain Tripps, Motaba, KV and Rage (Oh, my)

At the end of this month, the cable channel A&E will premiere a two-part remake of the film The Andromeda Strain (1971). Though I’ve never been much of a fan of that particular film, I’ve always been intrigued by the central premise that humanity could be put into peril by something as seemingly innocuous as a microscopic virus.

Continue reading this column on movies akin to The Andromeda Strain.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
5/16/2008


Robbery Homicide Division

The defunct series Robbery Homicide Division that aired back in '02 on CBS is now being run on the cable channel Sleuth. Robbery Homicide Division was executive produced by Michael Mann – Collateral and Miami Vice.

Robbery Homicide Division

By Bert Ehrmann
5/11/2008


E.T. Teaser Poster

I'm actually quite surprised as to how CREEPY the teaser poster is to the E.T. movie. It's a wonder anyone took their kids to see it!

Invincible Iron Man

By Bert Ehrmann
5/11/2008


Invincible Iron Man

I'm digging the new Invincible Iron Man comic book, described by Marvel as "… the perfect jumping-on point for new readers and Iron Man fans alike!"

Invincible Iron Man

By Bert Ehrmann
5/11/2008


The Modern Comic Book

Queen and Country

Over the last winter with the television writer’s strike obliterating much of the new scripted television series of the season, I found myself with the unenviable task of finding alternatives to Indiana’s famous “stuck inside with nothin’ to do” winter blahs. I briefly toyed with reality TV (mistake) but luckily found something just as good (if not better) than most of what passes for entertainment these days – the modern comic book/graphic novel.

Continue reading this column on the modern comic book/graphic novel.

By Bert Ehrmann
5/2/2008


He Fights and Smites with Repulsor Rays!

Iron Man

I’ve taken a bit of flak in conversations with friends in my opinion that Iron Man will be the movie to beat this summer. Most people I know think the top movie will be The Dark Knight or are looking forward more to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull than any other movie next summer. I say that if I had to pick just one movie to see this summer, that movie would be Iron Man.

Continue reading this column on Iron Man.

By Bert Ehrmann
4/17/2008


More Sci-Fi. No Sub-Plot Required..

Thats exactly what should be said about the new Aliens Vs. Predator Movie: AVP-R. ( I think the R stand for RATING, since the last stinker of this series was Rated PG-13).

We've come for your daughter, Chuck.

The movie picks up where the last AVP movie left off, with the Predator comrades recovering their fallen warrior from Earth, only to find out that he is carrying a "Hybrid Pred-Alien", that wreaks havoc on the ship, and forces the Predator ship to crash land in a Mid-Western town in the US.

Sticking with the usual formula of the Sci-Fi/Horror meld, we have our usual cast of cannon fodder living in the town, mired in a sorry subplot, which of course caused my wife and I to ask every 2 minutes of dialogue "Will something please kill this person?"

Of course, the facehuggers from the downed ship get out and loose, and start attacking the town folk, getting them prepped for their "stomach popping" event. Meanwhile, the Predator ship has sent out a distress beacon, and a lone Predator warrior travels to Earth to dispatch the Alien infestation.


N-n-n-n- Nice Kitty!

Now, not to ruin the movie for you (Cause, well you can rent it if you choose..) I'll point out the good parts (if any) and the bad parts (LOTS!):

Good Parts: Predator fight(s) with the Aliens. Yes indeed, the Predator brought his bag of goodies along, which provided some extra firepower against the Alien swarm. From spinners (hello Krull reference..), to Laser Mesh Fences, he brought them all out to play. I think the personal favorite was his little tank of Blue liquid.. which dissolved anything it touched. Comes in handy when cleaning up that unwanted pet dropping.

Bad Parts: Horrible acting, Horrible Sub-plot/romance crap (why do they PUT that stuff in there?!), the substitute for the Alien Queen (I guess they had to do something.. but I've read better Dark Horse comics than what the screenwriters developed as a plot in this flick..), and it was just too damned dark!

Lastly we have the glorious sub-titles for the movie.
Now this is not a slight against the hearing impaired. I personally like the subtitles on during the movie, in case I mishear what the actors said (which my wife says I do a lot..). However, this movie goes TOTALLY overboard with its notation for subtitle events in the movie. From "rhythmic ominous theme" to "Whooshing Sound", this flick has got em all! I am not sure how much you want to convey to the audience, but I found it to be a bit TOO much.

I also noticed that this movie made an attempt to incorporate every memorable line from the previous movies.. From "Get to the Chopper!" to "Stay close to me Molly", I couldn't help but laugh!

Overall, the movie turned out to be a bit of a gore-fest (though I have seen better), and should be treated as such. If you get the urge to waste some money, go stop by and rent it.



AVP-R

By Mo Alexander
4/17/2008


Battle Beneath the Earth

I'm loving the poster for the movie Battle Beneath the Earth. It's been many years since I last saw it (on television, no less), but I remember finding it enjoyable if a bit hard to believe.

Battle Beneath the Earth

By Bert Ehrmann
4/13/2008


Lost Jack

Sideshow Collectibles is set to release a figure based on the character of Jack from the series Lost. This figure is due out later this year and will retail for around $100.

Jack Lost

By Bert Ehrmann
4/13/2008


The Things in the Mist

Not to want to ruin the movie The Mist for you or anything, but below are all of the creatures that appear within the movie. Look away if you're easily offended or want to avoid spoilers! :-)

The Mist
The tentacles

The Mist
The "bugs"

The Mist
The things that eat the "bugs"

The Mist
The "spiders"

The Mist
The thing that killed Jessup

The Mist
The thing that killed Ollie
(probably the same thing that killed Jessup
)

The Mist
The behemoth

By Bert Ehrmann
4/10/2008


Lions for Lambs

The very good movie Lions for Lambs is set to be released on DVD this Tuesday (4/8). Lions for Lambs, written by Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom) and directed by Robert Redford, follows three interrelated storylines that all deal with the war in the Middle East, specifically the war in Afghanistan.

Lions for Lambs

One story deals with a university professor (Redford) trying to convince a student that he’s apathetically sleepwalking through life. Another deals with two ex-students of the professor, played by Michael Pena (Crash) and Derek Luke (Spartan), who joined the Army in order to pay off school bills and make a difference who find themselves trapped on a mountaintop in Afghanistan and surrounded by insurgents when a mission they’re on goes bad. The third story deals with a reporter (Meryl Streep) interviewing a Senator (Tom Cruise) who’s revealing his plan to win the war in Afghanistan, the first part of which involves the soldiers on the mountaintop.

Mostly ignored at the box office and during awards season, Lions for Lambs is much like the epic film Traffic (2000) in that the film brings up a lot of hard questions all related to the time we live in, yet doesn’t provide any easy answers. Even neo-con Senator Irving (Cruise) whom Carnahan could have easily painted in the wide brush of over-the-top nationalism and ultra-conservatism is presented as a guy who genuinely wants to do good for the country and, at one point, delivers a scathing lecture to reporter Roth (Streep) on the media’s involvement on “selling” the war in the Middle East.

3 stars

By Bert Ehrmann
4/6/2008


The Others

One of my favorite short-lived TV shows of the last decade, The Others, is currently airing Chiller on DirecTV. A cross between The X-Files, The Sixth Sense and X-Men, The Others focuses on a team of people with special "other worldly" powers who investigate the occult and unknown.

If I remember correctly, the series did alright in the ratings but was canceled, along with the rest of NBC's successful Saturday night block of simarly themed shows in order to make room for the XFL – which lasted all of one season.

The Others was also co-executive produced by Glen Morgan and James Wong, creators of Space: Above and Beyond.

By Bert Ehrmann
4/4/2008


Battlestar Galactica: The End

Battlestar

It seems a bit odd writing about the upcoming final season of Battlestar Galactica (BSG), especially since the debut of the series was one of the first things I (almost) covered for The Fort Wayne Reader. Back in late 2003 I had been approached by the publishers of The Reader to become their entertainment columnist. I accepted their offer and was given a pre-air DVD screener of the then upcoming new BSG mini-series for review. 

Continue reading this column on the upcoming season of Battlestar Galactica.

By Bert Ehrmann
4/3/2008


First Flight of the Phantom Eagle

The comic book series War is Hell: Last Flight of the Phantom Eagle is pretty cool. From Marvel:

Set against the grim backdrop of Word War I, mysterious aviator Karl Kaufmann arrives on the western front dressed outlandishly and at the controls of his own plane. Overconfident and full of romantic ideals, he has come to fight and kill the Hun. But soon Kaufmann confronts staggering loss and witnesses violence on a scale he has never imagined. In the process, he learns the harsh truth of conflict: war is hell.

 WAR IS HELL: THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE PHANTOM EAGLE

By Bert Ehrmann
4/2/2008


Battlestar Galactica

I've got to question this report from TV Squad:

For some time now, at least some members of the press and other media outlets have had an early copy of the fourth season premiere of Battlestar Galactica. This season, however, Sci Fi has made everyone sign and adhere to an embargo agreement, making us keep our traps shut about anything at all to do with the screener until today.
Seriously, SCI FI? You really want to play the "we're too cool for free press" card with Battlestar Galactica? It seems to me that each year less and less people are watching BSG – not more and more. Shouldn't you practically be GIVING these episodes away to the press and BEGGING them for a review?

By Bert Ehrmann
3/31/2008


The Posters of The Mist

At the beginning of the movie The Mist, character David Drayton (Thomas Jane) has a painting he was working on ruined when a tree comes crashing into his studio during a violent thunderstorm. This ruined painting, meant to be the main image of some fictional movie poster, means that Drayton will have to ask for a deadline extension to repaint his work. He's concerned, since most movie posters these days are done relatively quickly via Photoshop. He says, "They could whip up some bad Photoshop poster in an afternoon, they do it all the time…"

What I find interesting is that rather than having a painted poster be the official poster for The Mist, a poster created in Photoshop was used.

The Mist

Not only that, but a different Photoshop image was used for the cover of the special edition DVD. There's more action outside the windows and the angle out the windows is higher.

And at least one poster for the Korean (?) version of The Mist was a Photoshop hybrid of the two images. (Except here, for some reason, the windows don't end with a curve at the top.)

The Mist

A painted image was used for the cover of the re-release of the Stephen King novella the movie was based on. This image was also released as a giveaway poster for the San Diego Comic Con as well.

The Mist

Not that I'm complaining or anything – I actually like the Photoshop and painted posters for The Mist.

By Bert Ehrmann
3/30/2008


Redbelt

The next film of writer/director David Mamet (Spartan, Glengarry Glen Ross) Redbelt is due out May 9.

Redbelt

From the official site:

Set in the west-side of Los Angeles fight world, a world inhabited by bouncers, cage-fighters, cops and special forces types, Redbelt, is the story of Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Jiu-Jitsu teacher who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, choosing instead to pursue an honorable life by operating a self-defense studio with a samurai's code.

Terry and his wife Sondra (Alicia Braga), struggle to keep the business running to make ends meet. An accident on a dark, rainy night at the Academy between an off duty officer (Max Martini) and a distraught lawyer (Emily Moritimer) puts in motion a series of events that will change Terry's life dramatically introducing him to a world of promoters (Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna) and movie star Chet Frank (Tim Allen). Faced with this, in order to pay off his debts and regain his honor, Terry must step into the ring for the first time in his life.

By Bert Ehrmann
3/26/2008


How About A Shave? : Sweeney Todd Review



Since the birth of my daughter things have been kind of hectic and movie watching for me has come to an all time low. Fortunately, I have gotten the time to catch up on a few movies that I missed this past winter. I was really excited when I heard of another Tim Burton/Johnny Depp film but totally skeptical when I heard it was partially a musical and Danny Elfman's name was no where to be found.

Benjamin Barker is a barber who is sent away for a crime he didn't commit by the evil Judge Turpin. Barker returns many years later as a new man, Sweeny Todd. Since his exile his wife has died and his daughter is in the clutches of the Judge. With revenge and anger on his mind Todd reopens his barber shop to kill the people responsible for his exile. With the help of his neighbor Mrs Lovett, Todd goes on a murderous rampage with the flick of his wrist.

First thing is first: if you cannot stand the sight of someone getting their throat cut...... THIS MOVIE IS NOT FOR YOU! I don't care how cute you think Depp is or how much you loved A Nightmare Before Christmas. Second: If you don't like the idea of people busting out into song every 10 minutes too bad because it happens. Other than that this movie was exactly what I was expecting. The story was great with plot twists throughout the film, the set/character design was amazing and the soundtrack was definitely unique. Who would have thought that Sacha Baron Cohen could be something more than Borat. Its hard to compare this movie to anything else so I can't recommend movies similar to it. I guess if you have the heart to witness arterial spray throughout the film then watch this movie. Is there anything Depp can't do these days?

By Matt Alexander
3/23/2008


Alien Pile Statue

Sideshow Collectibles is set to release a statue based on the movie Alien later this year. "Alien Pile" retails for around $250.

Alien Pile

By Bert Ehrmann
3/21/2008


What lies in The Mist?

The Mist

In the previous edition of Dangerous Universe, I discussed three great movies I missed seeing in theaters last year. This time I’ll talk about one movie I did catch in the theater and called one of the best of ’07; Frank Darabont’s The Mist. Unfortunately, though The Mist may have been a great movie, it was mostly overlooked by the public/reviewers last year.

Continue reading this article on the upcoming DVD release of The Mist.

By Bert Ehrmann
3/21/2008


Blu Ray Wins the Day




Ha Ha! Blu-Ray now "officially" rules your Hi Def system!

"It's official. Toshiba just made a statement saying, 'it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders.' Cessation of the player and recorders are targeted for March 2008. Volume production of HD DVD disk drives for PCs and games will end in the same time frame. However, Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation did say that Toshiba will, 'continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives.' That's it folks, the format war is over, Blu-ray has won..."

Blu Ray Technology

By Mo Alexander
3/21/2008


Torment the Highway




After a few months of patience, I was finally able to pick up another "worthy" game title for my PS3. And it has yet to disappoint. Enter Burnout: Paradise.

"Slam, Shunt and Wreck opponents in cross-town race events, where YOU decide the fastest route to the finish line. Hit the jumps and find shortcuts, smash through barriers and get to the places that other racers can't reach to get that competitive edge! Just pull up to over 120 stoplights and spin your wheels to start one of five different events – the classic Race, Road Rage and Burning Route, and the all-new Stunt Run and Marked Man modes."

Deviating from the norm, this version of Burnout gives the player complete racing freedom in a 30 KM city, from just goofing off in your car, to revving it up at a stop light to start a race or stunt.

Graphically, this version is EA's first foray into Next Generation Gaming using either your Playstation 3 or XBOX 360. And the graphics, the physics, and overall gameplay astound.

My only complaint is the various music tracks that EA decided to put in the game. Who honestly wants to hear Axl Rose wail into "Paradise City" when the game starts up, or hear Avril Lavigne and her crappy song "Girlfriend"? The one thing this game needs is the ability to either add your own tracks, or some better racing tunes. Maybe some AudioSlave? Rage Against the Machine? ??

All in all, the game packs in good times that you can enjoy by yourself, or find a couple of buddies online and smash them senseless. Either way, its sure to be fun.

Check it out! Oh yeah, this happens a lot by the way..







Burnout

By Mo Alexander
3/21/2008


Dave Stevens

Fan favorite artist Dave Stevens has died at 52. From "news from me":

Illustrator Dave Stevens, best known for his "good girl" art and The Rocketeer, died yesterday following a long, wrenching battle with Leukemia…Most of what Dave did after that fell into the general category of "glamour art," including portfolios and private commissions. Many of these were illustrations of Bettie Page who, though once thought deceased, turned out to be alive and living not all that far from Dave. They met and Dave became her friend and, though he was not wealthy, benefactor. Deciding that too many others had callously exploited her likeness, Dave voluntarily aided Ms. Page financially and even took to helping her in neighborly ways. One time, he told me — and without the slightest hint of resentment — "It's amazing. After years of fantasizing about this woman, I'm now driving her to cash her Social Security checks."

If I'm not mistaken, Stevens was one of the reasons Bettie Page returned to the spotlight over the last few years. Regardless, Stevens was one of those artists that others aspired to be like, though were never were quite able.

Dave Stevens

By Bert Ehrmann
3/12/2008


Iron Man

IMP Awards has posted a pretty okay final poster for the upcoming Iron Man movie. It's nice, but it's not necessarily something I'd want to hang in my home!

Iron Man

By Bert Ehrmann
3/7/2008


Missed Opportunities

Missed Opportunities

Even though I try to see around one new movie a week, I still can’t see everything I want to in the theater. Be it conflicts with other movies, not having the time in a given week to make it to the theater, bad word of mouth or even not wanting to waste my hard earned dough on a movie I suspect will be a stinker, great movies do slip by me.

Thankfully, though, even when I miss a great movie in the theater I can still catch it on DVD release. Consider these three movies an addendum to my “best of 2007” list.

Continue reading this article on great movies missed in 2007.

By Bert Ehrmann
3/7/2008


Movie Related Items

Sideshow Toys will be releasing a few cool movie related "got'ta have" items later this year. The first one is a diorama based on the climax of the movie Jurassic Park and the second is a 12-inch Indiana Jones action figure from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Jurassic Park diorama retails for around $250 while the Indiana Jones figure goes for around $90.

Jurassic Park

Indiana Jones

By Bert Ehrmann
2/19/2008


Cloverfield: What Went Wrong?

Cloverfield

A few weeks back the “giant monster that attacks New York” movie Cloverfield opened to huge numbers at the box office earning over $40 million and the number one spot in its first week in release. Cloverfield opened so big that most assumed that Paramount Pictures had another movie franchise on their hands and that a sequel would soon be in the works.

Continue reading this article on the movie Cloverfield.

 

By Bert Ehrmann
2/15/2008


Iron Man Bust

Sideshow Collectibles is set to release a really nice looking bust of "Stealth Iron Man." The bust is 1:2 scale and retails around $200.

Iron Man

By Bert Ehrmann
2/11/2008


Diary of the Dead

The New York Times has an article on George Romero and the upcoming Diary of the Dead movie.

"Diary of the Dead" is about a group of Pittsburgh college students shooting a cheapo mummy movie in the woods when the zombies start swarming. These kids will go down filming, and the result is metazombie; a film within the film is called "The Death of Death." …

"I always thought of the zombies as being about revolution, one generation consuming the next," said Mr. Romero, who has a gentle hippie quality about him (gray ponytail, propensity to use the word "man"). "But I wasn’t trying to come down hard on these kids particularly. This blogosphere thing is our time. All my films are snapshots of North America at a particular moment. I have an ability within the genre to be able to do that."

Diary of the Dead

By Bert Ehrmann
2/10/2008


The Walking Dead

CS Moore Studio is releasing another The Walking Dead torso statue, This one's called "Andrew." Andrew's due out this July and will retail for $25.

The Walking Dead

By Bert Ehrmann
2/2/2008


Creepy Archives

Coming out later this summer Dark Horse is releasing a first volume set of Creepy Archives. From Dark Horse:

This groundbreaking material turned the world of graphic storytelling on its head in the early 1960s, as phenomenal young artists like Bernie Wrightson and Neal Adams reached new artistic heights with their fascinating explorations of classic and modern horror stories.
  • Brilliant, classic Creepy stories from 1964-1966 raised from the dead after twenty-five years.
  • Featuring work by such comics luminaries as Joe Orlando, Al Williamson, Alex Toth, and Frank Frazetta.
  • Archive editions of Creepy will be the cornerstone of any comic-book library.
  • Volume One reprints the first five terrifying issues of the magazine's original run, reprinted in the original magazine size!

Creepy

The set retails for around $50 and is scheduled to be released June 18.

By Bert Ehrmann
2/2/2008


Summer Movie Preview

Summer Movie Preview

If summer 2007 at the box-office was the year of the sequel, then next summer will surly be remembered as the year of the comic book movie. By my estimate, there are no fewer than half-a-dozen films either directly based on comic books, or at least inspired by them, due out from May to August.

Continue reading the Dangerous Universe summer movie preview.

By Bert Ehrmann
2/1/2008


Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton is one of the finest films of 2007 that no one (me included) saw in its initial release. And that's a shame; Michael Clayton a taught thriller that keeps multiple, seemingly separate, plot threads all going at once and brings all these lines together at the end.

Michael Clayton

George Clooney plays the title character, a lawyer "fixer" for a large firm in New York who's reached rock bottom in his career (he essentially cleans up after client's mistakes — he's called a "janitor" more than once), his personal life and is also dealing with a failed business venture that left him buried in debt he cannot pay back. Enter Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), another lawyer for the same firm who's spent the last 17 years of his life defending a chemical company from a multi-billion dollar lawsuit while at the same time earning millions in billings for the firm.

One day Edens goes off his psychiatric medication, becomes unstable and seemingly develops a conscience when he realizes what he's been defending all these years. Clayton is called in to fix what's gone wrong, but when billions of dollars and the future of the law firm are on the line, there are no limits to what the firm or the chemical company are willing to do to control the ensuing chaos.

I couldn't help but be amazed as to the quality of acting as well as the top-notch story. Be it Clooney playing Clayton as a burned-out lawyer with internal demons too numerous to mention who's spent a few too many years cleaning up other people's messes. Tilda Swinton as another lawyer willing to do anything to quell the firestorm of controversy Edens brings with his breakdown — no matter how much it damages her own conscience. And even Wilkerson playing Edens as a guy who's, for once, finally happy with life. Apparently being crazy is better than living with the guilt of destroying lives.

3.5 out of 4

Michael Clayton is set to be released on DVD February 19.

By Bert Ehrmann
1/26/2008


I Am His Dog

AMC has a nice little video video explaining the relationship between the movie A Boy and His Dog (1975) and the recent I Am Legend.

By Bert Ehrmann
1/24/2008


Damages

Out on DVD next week (1/29) is one of the best series of 2007, Damages. Extras include a few featurettes, commentaries, deleted scenes and bloopers.

Damages

By Bert Ehrmann
1/24/2008


Diary of the Dead

The poster for the upcoming FIFTH George Romero zombie movie Diary of the Dead has been released. I really like the tagline for the film, "Where will you be when the end begins?" Diary of the Dead is due in theaters February 15.

Diary of the Dead

By Bert Ehrmann
1/21/2008


Cloverfield

The main conceit of the movie Cloverfield is that you need to suspend your disbelief in the fact that; a gigantic Godzilla-like monster could attack New York City, the average 20-something New Yorker is dumber than a toddler and that the only thing dumber than the average 20-something New Yorker is a group of average 20-something New Yorkers. Trust me, believing that a gigantic monster might one day rise out of the sea and attack New York is much easier to believe than the low level of intelligence and self-preservation on display by the characters of Cloverfield.

Cloverfield

In Cloverfield, it’s the night before Rob (Michael Stahl-David) moves to Japan and all his friends have decided to throw him a going-away surprise party. At the party, friend “Hud” (T.J. Miller) is given the task of documenting the event with a home video camera when an earthquake followed by a gigantic explosion rocks Manhattan. What follows next is glimpses of some gigantic “thing” tearing through Manhattan, the destruction that follows and Hud documenting the event first-person on the ground.

Which, admittedly, the whole film being shot through the lens of Hud’s camera, however implausible, is quite effective. Cloverfield makes the audience feel as if they’re at the center of the action, only moments away from the terror of this gigantic monster and inches away from death. 

Which is the greatest problem of the movie; while seemingly every other New Yorker wants off the island and away from this creature, the core group of the movie Cloverfield does their best to work their way back into the city to rescue a stranded friend. After seeing the monster destroy bridges, topple buildings, shrug off artillery shells and shear the head off the Statue of Liberty, I’m not sure anyone would have the wits about them to do anything but cover/run rather than actively make their way towards the creature and certain doom.

2 stars

By Bert Ehrmann
1/19/2008


Is the ’07-’08 TV Season Dead?

TV Season

As the television writer's strike threatens to obliterate most of the 2007-08 TV season (not that the season was that great to begin with), there seems to be little left on television to watch other than re-runs of Seinfeld or episodes of Holmes on Homes on Discovery Home Channel. However, with the start of the winter television season set to begin later this month, there are some alternatives to the repetitive parade of knock-off reality TV the networks have been serving up these last few weeks.

Continue reading this column on the death of the '07–'08 TV season.

By Bert Ehrmann
1/18/2008


Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

The new AMC series Breaking Bad premiers this Sunday (1/20) at 10:00 P.M. (EST). From AMC:

Meet Walter White, high school chemistry teacher. Sleepwalking through life when, boom, a terminal diagnosis changes everything. Liberates him. Empowers him to use his chemistry skills anew: to man a rolling drug lab and finance his family's future. Breaking Bad: Change the Equation.

By Bert Ehrmann
1/16/2008


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

NECA Entertainment has a series of very cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys due out later this year. What's cool here is that these toys are based on the first appearance of the Turtles some 24 odd years ago. From NECA:

This spring, Series 1 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures hits stores. Based on the original Mirage Studios comic created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, NECA's new action figures maintain the gritty look comic book fans fell in love with over twenty years ago.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

By Bert Ehrmann
1/13/2008


Diary of the Dead

The trailer for the upcoming Diary of the Dead movie has premiered on MySpace (of all places) and looks GREAT!

By Bert Ehrmann
1/11/2008


Iron Man

I know that you're thinking the coolest movie next summer's going to be The Dark Knight, but I more excited about Iron Man than any movie next year.

Iron Man

By Bert Ehrmann
1/9/2008


The 50 best episodes of 2007

All this week the futon critic has been running their annual feature on the top 50 TV episodes of the previous year. It's something I look forward to reading each January.

By Bert Ehrmann
1/9/2008


The Wire

The Wire

The New York Times has an article on the upcoming final season of The Wire.

They won't be disappointed. The fifth and final season of "The Wire," which begins Sunday night, sinks deep into the Simonian bog, adding a new strand of narrative — the city room of a failing newspaper — to the dealers, cops, addicts, teachers and city officials who collide, and sometimes collude, but mostly bump up helplessly against immutable barriers of corruption, inertia and economic decline.

This season, like all the others, ''The Wire'' taps into a cold, cold place with many losses and few gains, a sub-zero-sum game.

By Bert Ehrmann
1/5/2008


Justice League of America

I'm digging this set of statues based on issue #7 of Justice League of America. From DC Direct:

Ed Benes' legendary image from the cover of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7 stands tall as it becomes a multi-part statue! Sold in three parts, each features two of the world's greatest superheroes and includes a piece of a bonus Red Tornado figure. (To fully assemble Red Tornado, all three Build-a-Scene statues are needed.) All of the pieces slide together to make a complete cover scene in striking 3-D!

The first part of the statue includes Batman, Wonder Woman, and the base and tornado portion of Red Tornado.

Justice League of America

To collect all three parts of these statues to complete the scene will run somewhere around $450 retail. The first part of the collection including Batman and Wonder Woman ships this August.

By Bert Ehrmann
1/5/2008


Serentiy: Better Days

Dark Horse will be releasing a Serenity/Firefly comic book series this March written by Joss Whedon entitled Serentiy: Better Days. From Previews:

Better Days revisits everyone’s favorite space cowboys in this thrilling, action-packed adventure, with Mal and his crew on a heist that promises a big payoff—what’s surprising is that this heist just might make good on that promise.

Serenity

There's a few rough pages of the comic on the Previews site as well.

By Bert Ehrmann
1/1/2008


Willie & Joe: The WWII Years

The Fantagraphic book of collected cartoons Willie & Joe: The WWII Years, due out this March, looks to be a must buy. From Fantagraphics:

Here, for the first time, Fantagraphics Books brings together Mauldin's complete works from 1940 through the end of the war. This collection of over 600 cartoons, most never before reprinted, is more than the record of a great artist: it is an essential chronicle of America's citizen-soldiers from peace through war to victory…

After wading ashore with his division on the first of its four beach invasions in July 1943, Mauldin and his men changed — and Mauldin's cartoons changed accordingly. Months of miserable weather, bad food, and tedium interrupted by the terror of intense bombing and artillery fire took its toll. By the year's end, virtually every man in Mauldin's original rifle company was killed, wounded, or captured.
Willie & Joe

By Bert Ehrmann
1/1/2008